Sindh approves Rs 4.5 billion for repatriation of illegal foreigners

Afghan refugees arrive in trucks and cars to cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman on October 31, 2023.  - AFP
Afghan refugees arrive in trucks and cars to cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman on October 31, 2023. – AFP
  • The Chief Minister directed the district administration to provide assistance for repatriation.
  • Cabinet approves funds for wheat subsidy and minimum wages.
  • The meeting strongly condemned Israel’s inhumane attacks on Gaza.

KARACHI: Hours before the end of the deadline for voluntary return of illegal foreigners, the caretaker Sindh cabinet headed by Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar approved allocating Rs 4.5 billion for the return of illegal immigrants. ,

During the meeting, the Home Secretary told the Cabinet that the federal government has decided to deport all illegal foreigners after November 1.

The Ministry of the Interior has shared the Illegal Foreign Repatriation Plan (IFRP) outlining the necessary actions to be taken by all provinces. It was reported that the federal cabinet, while approving the IFRP, decided that the provinces would bear the cost of logistics, however, the issue would still be taken up at the appropriate level.

The Cabinet was told that an amount of Rs 4.5 billion is required to bring back illegal foreigners from Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas and Larkana divisions.

After discussion, the cabinet approved the amount outside the budget allocation. The CM directed the Home Minister to provide necessary police support to the district administration for the return of illegal foreigners to their country.

The provincial cabinet also approved the retirement of Rs 25 billion in liabilities under wheat subsidy and Rs 32,000 minimum wage.

The Cabinet also strongly condemned Israel’s inhumane attacks on Gaza and the killing of innocent people in Palestine. The Israeli occupation forces targeted civilians and did not even spare hospitals.

The cabinet demanded immediate ceasefire. The cabinet said that this brutal attack is a blatant violation of international humanitarian laws. “The Israeli attacks are grave crimes against humanity,” the cabinet said.

The CM directed the Finance Department to communicate with the federal government regarding settlement of liabilities up to Rs. 25,000 billion in 2023-24. The provincial cabinet approved compensation to the victims of the incident at Sakrand in Nawabshah district at the rate of Rs 8 million for the family of each deceased and Rs 2 million for the injured and free education to one child of the deceased.

Action against illegal immigrants from November 2

Earlier today, acting Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti announced that the government would begin a crackdown on undocumented immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of Afghan nationals, from Thursday (November 2).

“Only two days are left for voluntary withdrawal,” Bugti said in a video-recorded statement. He said the November 1 deadline for voluntary withdrawal will expire on Wednesday.

From November 2, he said, “Our long and gradual operation will begin,” ensuring, “We are not deporting any refugee. Only those who are completely illegal will leave Pakistan.”

According to the Interior Ministry, Pakistan is home to more than 4 million Afghan migrants and refugees, of whom about 1.7 million are undocumented, including many who were born in Pakistan and have lived there their entire lives.

Islamabad announced earlier this month that it wanted all undocumented immigrants gone by November 1.

Islamabad said it took the decision after Afghan nationals were found involved in crime, smuggling and 14 out of 24 suicide bombings this year, alleging terrorists were using Afghan soil to train fighters and carry out attacks inside Pakistan. Let’s plan.

The expulsion plan marks a new deterioration in already fractured relations between the South Asian neighbors.

Bugti said those leaving voluntarily would be provided assistance by the government at temporary centers set up to house immigrants.

“We will try to provide them food and health facilities for two to three days at the holding centres,” the interior minister said.

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